The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Directed By – Josh Boone

Screenplay By – Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Cinematography By – Ben Richardson

Starring Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort

126 min.

**Winner of TheDenHouse Manly Men Underrated Award**

Either my expectations of this movie were outrageously low or this movie is actually excellent. I think the truth lies somewhere in-between but I’ve got to give this one props. It does exactly what all the women of America said it did yet I figured “what do they know, they’re just emotional weaklings”. In reality The Fault in Our Stars is as compelling and complete a romance as they come and while cancer is a major player in the movie, the filmmakers don’t shove it in your face. There’s no moment where I felt “they’re just playing the cancer card and this is bullshit.” I guess what I’m getting at is that the movie was surprisingly real. It felt sincere. The characters felt sincere, the situation felt sincere. It was a powerful film.

I thought Shailene Woodley gave a better perfomance in this than she had in her past few films, but Ansel Elgort stole the show. He was the one who made me believe in this couple and he brought the youthful innocence that was essential for these two young teenagers with devastating diseases.

Job well done team, job well done.

God Bless America

Laggies (2014)

Directed By – Lynn Shelton

Screenplay By – Andrea Seigel

Cinematography By – Benjamin Kasulke

Starring Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz & Sam Rockwell

99 min.

Laggies is a solid indi film all around. There’s nothing particular special about Laggies but there’s nothing wrong with it either. The three stars are great and fun to watch, all seeming to have a nice chemistry with one another. I will say that while the ending was classically predictable, the characters are unique enough that I wasn’t ever sure if the ending was actually going to be predictable.

I liked Laggies and am glad I watched it.

God Bless America

Top Five (2014)

Directed By – Chris Rock

Screenplay By – Chris Rock

Cinematography By – Manuel Alberto Claro

Starring Chris Rock & Rosario Dawson

102 min.

I really enjoyed Top Five. It was funny yet grounded as Chris Rock lets us into some version of his reality. The romance between his character and Rosario Dawson’s is engrossing with plenty of up and down moments to keep us on our toes. The plethora of cameos are fun and funny, and add the much needed element of celebrity status that makes us feel like we are actually welcomed into Andre Allen’s (Chris Rock’s) world of fame and fortune. Rock also includes the story line of his Reality TV wedding and Gabrielle Union’s character, both adding to the idea of celebrity culture but also somewhat humanizing the subjects of Reality Television shows.

I thought it all blended very smoothly and ultimately produced a very good and entertaining movie.

God Bless America